17 Apr 2023


by Benjamin Powell, CEO of BetterCast

How to market your hybrid events on TikTok:

Hype marketing is designed for events. Admittedly, it is more commonly associated with product marketing, with Apple’s major iPhone releases being perfect examples of it done well. However, hype is always built around a specific date, whether that’s the date of the product launch or the date of your event. Effectively, your event is your product.

For those who don’t know, hype marketing is an extreme form of publicity intended to create a growing sense of excitement and anticipation among its target audience. Ultimately, the intention is to encourage high sales volumes as quickly as possible, often by using scarcity (often artificial) to promote greater demand.


Hype marketing is often associated with social media because the build-up of the hype depends on excitement spreading by word of mouth. TikTok, as we will see, is a particularly good platform for this because of its format and audience, among other factors.

The Power of Video

TikTok’s sudden rise to the top inevitably set the trend for all social media, with video now heavily promoted across Facebook and Instagram, among others. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri himself said that video is “driving an immense amount of growth online for all major platforms”.


“There’s still nothing like a sharp, shareable video to get your audience buzzing on social media,” says Cole Nowicki of Hootsuite, the social media management platform widely used across the marketing industry. In a blog post, Cole points to the example of Strathcona Brewery, which uses animated videos of their beer cans dancing to give each brew a different ‘personality’. “This is a great way to establish the vision for a new product while still staying within the overall theme of your brand.”

When it comes to marketing for a hybrid event, the tone of the event will dictate the tone videos will need to have if they are going to succeed with your target audience. If a serious business conference used videos of dancing beer cans, its viral success would probably not bring the sort of hype that sells tickets.

Build a Community

A brand new account with no followers could post the finest 60 seconds of cinema on TikTok and almost no one would ever see it. Social media is, by its very nature, social. Without an engaged community there is absolutely no hope of generating a hype. Fortunately, building a community isn’t really that complicated.

“TikTok thrives off niche communities – whether it’s for books, art, pop culture, sports, fashion, self-care, or cars – there is truly something for everyone,” says Monique Thomas of, a social media management system similar to Hootsuite, in her Ultimate Guide to TikTok Marketing. She goes on to show the example set by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which posts educational videos of their exhibits with a lighthearted tone that works well with a young audience.

With a community built, your posts will get that all important initial boost of engagement and shares. Early success is essential for viral spread as social media algorithms generally promote those posts building a buzz.

Have a Hashtag

Ever since Twitter introduced the concept to the public, the use of hashtags as a means of reaching a niche audience and building a community has become universally accepted and adopted by all social media. They have also been very successfully used to create hype.

“Coinciding with the announcement of her new album, Cuz I Love You, pop (bop) star Lizzo created the hashtag #CuzILoveYou,” explained Cole. “Not only is the hashtag a great way for Lizzo’s fans to follow everything going on with the album drop and how her followers are

reacting to it, but she was able to get creative with its promotion. On Valentine’s Day Lizzo herself encouraged fans to tweet using the #CuzILoveYou hashtag, retweeting those that did. This clever approach gets the audience excited about their involvement and more engaged in the release.”

Naturally, having a single hashtag that is easy to incorporate into posts is the best for generating hype. For an event, encouraging exhibitors to have their own associated hashtags could also help widen the reach.

Listen to Feedback

TikTok’s algorithm takes note of which videos users mark as “not interested”, which users they hide and which videos they skip. The occasional negative feedback is inevitable and nothing to be concerned about – you can’t please everyone and there’s no sense even trying to. However, disproportionately large amounts of people marking your videos with “not interested” means there’s something wrong with your strategy.

The same is true in reverse. Posts that have hit the right tone and reached the right audience will get more views, more likes and lead to more followers. Keep close track of how each of your posts is being received and make subtle changes to see what gives you more positive feedback and less negative. Try to be creative, though – the new and the novel often does far better on social media than a subtle variation of a tired trope.

Lean into the Hybrid Format

A lot of these suggestions could apply to using TikTok for hype marketing any kind of event, but the needs of a hybrid event are somewhat different. As such, your marketing also needs to be different.

The hybrid nature of the event and the many benefits they have over a traditional event should be strongly promoted, though not at the risk of overshadowing the emphasis on your particular niche. It is much harder to get hyped about a technical feature far outside your personal area of interest, but the flexibility and convenience of it are appealing.

Circa, an event marketing platform, recommends that those marketing hybrid events focus on optimising their attendees per marketing channel, marketing efforts per channel, brand awareness, prospect growth and overall return on investment. Brand awareness is perhaps the most important result from hype marketing, though it is important to monitor its success. Social media marketing can easily become a huge money trap, with expense far outstripping returns.


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